What a Gay Day Glasgow Style – 20 July 2019

We were going in to Glasgow to meet up with Jackie and Murdo around midday.  The Glasgow Gay Pride march was on and it seemed a shame not to take some photos.

Drove in to Glasgow and went for a walk down Bucky Street to catch a glimpse of the Glasgow Pride march.  After the disappointment of the Embra one, which wasn’t very gay and showed little pride, we hoped Glasgow would be a bit more enthusiastic.  It didn’t disappoint.

We saw about half the marchers walking along past the Tron Church and then on to George Square.  There was no comparison with the watered down Embra parade.  Here there was music, whistles, bands and sunshine.  Although the weather fairies had predicted rain, none came, but the sun did.  Stood watching for about half an hour and then wandered round George Square getting more photos.  PoD went to the flag waver at the top of the page.

Met up with the Skye folk in JL and drove  us all home.  Spent the afternoon sitting chatting.  Lots to catch up with and all the time in the world to do it.  Other than that we didn’t do much.  June, the other sister didn’t manage to come over to join the chat, but that was her loss.  They return to Skye tomorrow, getting the 10am bus.

We may go dancing later in the afternoon.

The Rubber Ear – 26 June 2019

Went dancing today. Almost came home with a black monkey.

It was all going swimmingly to start with. We’d covered the Seven Deadly Spins, and the Timestep. We’d even almost completed the Clap Back. In fact, the Jive wasn’t giving us too many problems. Then came the Waltz which we thought we were doing quite well. Even when one of the other group stepped onto the dance floor, I managed to dance around them. We actually danced for a whole song without a stop and almost without missing a beat. Of course, Michael wasn’t watching us then. When he did decide to watch us we made a few mistakes that’s when he pounced. First he told me I wasn’t dragging my foot in the proper way the waltz. I told him I was. He ignored me. Next I was told that I wasn’t looking where I was going and needed to lift my head. I was getting angry now. I told him straight to his face that I was looking where I was going, that was how I saw I needed to take avoiding action in the last dance. He ignored me again. Michael is deaf in one ear, but I believe he uses that as an excuse when he doesn’t want to hear something. Next was Quickstep, but to be honest I knew he’d find fault in that too. I gave up and just agreed with everything he said then told Scamp I’d had enough.

I get annoyed when I make a mistake and someone sees it, most folk do. I get really angry when I get accused of doing something I know I didn’t do and then get ignored when I argue against it. Even Scamp was ignored when she defended me. In CassArt you can buy an eraser shaped like an ear. I’m going to buy one for Michael. Just in case his usual ‘Rubber Ear’ isn’t working. One thing he did let slip before I walked off was that we should enter his ‘Strictly’ competition with a rival teacher because after all the criticism, he said we are really good. Scamp reckons we are being groomed to be his star pupils for a competition. That might just be what all this serious nit picking is about. Unfortunately for him, it’s not going to happen.

As you can imagine, I came out blazing mad. Thankfully halfway up the hill to the car park we passed a couple about the same age as us. They were having an argument and at that moment I felt the wee black monkey I’d been carrying, leave me for another host! The sun shone even brighter and I felt much better.  Glad I’ve got that out of my system now!

The rest of the afternoon went much better. Went to Tesco to get the makings of a salad and then grabbed my camera and went for a walk in St Mo’s. Got a host of photos, most of which are destined for the bin, but a few ended up on Flickr. The best one of the day and PoD is the red rose Alec’s Red. My brother gave it to us as a wedding present, although I’d guess it was my mum who picked it as Alex would be about 11 when we got married. It’s grown in every garden we’ve had and it still flowers every year. The perfume is exquisite.

Sat in the garden with a beer after dinner soaking up the sun.

Tomorrow it’s a early rise and then out to go to the hospital for a routine check up for me. Hopefully it will be ok and the we will be able to enjoy another beautiful day.

Embra beckons – 22 June 2019

We’d both had it in our heads to go to Embra today, but it wasn’t until Scamp said “Right, let’s go to Embra” that the idea became a plan.

We headed for and caught the 10:12 train to Embra. Got off at Haymarket and walked along Shandwick Place, past some Oor Wullies, hoping to get coffee in Nero. Unfortunately, other people got there before us and there were no seats left, so, so did we. We left. Walked up to our usual Nero on Lothian Road and were welcomed with open arms, because there were loads of empty seats. We even got a window seat so we could watch the world, or at least the Embra world, go by.

Suitably refreshed we walked up through the Farmers Market stopping only to buy a couple of hogget leg steaks and a chump roast for my dinner tomorrow. No doubt Scamp will have a piece of salmon instead. On past more Oor Wullies only one of which was good enough to be ranked beside Glasgow’s versions. Embra folk are too ‘po faced’ to fully commit themselves to the topic of humour, especially street humour. Yes, they have the ‘festival fringe’, but that’s really just a bunch of foreigners (i.e. not Embra folk) who are to be tolerated rather than encouraged. Anyway, I digress as I usually do. We walked up through the Grassmarket and on to the Royal Mile. Today was the Embra Gay Pride March. We simply followed the throng to find the weirdos.

The weirdos in question were gathering at the the bottom of the Royal Mile outside the parliament building. That’s the first time I’ve actually been to the parliament building and I must say, reluctantly, I was impressed. It is an interesting building and I think now I’d like to see inside. After all, I helped pay for it. I wonder where the bit I paid for is. Would I be able to see it? Would it have a wee plaque saying “DC paid for this bit of skirting board.” That would be nice.

Back to the weirdos. Scamp reckoned that the majority of the LGBTIs were under voting age. I’d say so too. Mostly opinionated school weans who don’t fit in with the ‘big boys and girls’ but want to be in a group who are ‘different’. All the group are different in the same way. Boys who want to be girls and girls who want to be boys, but they all want to be different and still be the same. Would they all be happy to be called homosexuals rather than ‘gays’? I get the L and the G and the B and even the T, but what in the name of the wee man is the I. I think it stands for “Isnae Sure”. Anyway, as it turned out, this was a refined Embra Gay Pride. Nobody really gave the impression that they were out to have fun. They just marched slowly up the Royal Mile. My PoD was a wee man who stood defiantly with his sign and ignored the children who posed coquettishly beside him. He looked dignified and stoic. They just looked like the spoilt children they were. Mummies’ little darlings. I didn’t agree with his religion, but I did applaud his courage.

After watching the boring march we went for lunch in a Turkish cafe where I had a Falafel, Peppers and Hummus wrap with a salad and Scamp had Sweet Potato and Smoked Haddock Fishcakes with a similar, but slightly different salad. Food was interesting, but coffee was black and pretty tasteless. Pity. However we left with some Baklava for me and Borek (Spinach and Goat’s Cheese in Filo) for both of us.

Train home and then sat in the garden, in the sun for an hour with a G&T to toast the day.

Alex sent me some disturbing news that Craig Fell, whom we both knew had died while on holiday in Greece. He’d thought it was a spoof at first, but then Gillian had confirmed it. Such a sad time for Uncle Herb and Auntie Maisie. Craig could be an absolute eejit at times, but always had a smile on his face. He’d never do anyone a bad turn. A loss to Larky.

Tomorrow we have no plans, other than a bit of shopping, maybe in Glasgow.

Home Time – 15 June 2019

Time to say our goodbyes and point the Juke’s red nose north.

Up about 7am and got the last of the stuff packed into the juke’s boot. Wished everyone a safe journey home and headed for Aberystwyth one last time go stock up on essentials before we set the sat nav for Home.

Drove through some beautiful countryside I’m told, although I didn’t see much of it. I was two busy watching the grey asphalt run under our tyres. Saw a friendly group of cyclists going our way and a load of others with racing numbers on their bikes going the other way. I didn’t envy them their run through the mountains. Stopped at Chester services and grabbed two clean shots of an Airbus Beluga. It must be the ugliest aircraft ever built. Only had my iPhone to record the shot, but at least I got it. That wasn’t the best shot of the day. PoD went to a shot taken from the house looking up through the garden to Sim taking her last shots of the landscape round the house, and there was blue sky and sunshine too.

The rest of the journey was uneventful and we arrived home in sunshine at around 5pm

Tomorrow will be a lazy day. No driving.

Venison, Dancers and that railway walk again – 14 June 2019

Time to get your feet wet!

JIC and Sim were off into Aberystwyth for supplies so we had the morning to do as we pleased. Heavy rain last night had swollen the burn that runs down the side of the house, that meant it was just screaming out for a slow-shutter series of photos. Dragged the tripod out of the car and got started. About fifty shots later I was done. It was one of the fifty that got PoD. I got my boots wet, but thankfully my feet stayed dry.

Time to start prepping for tonight’s dinner which would be Venison Casserole. We’d brought the slow-cooker with us along with a kilo of venison from the butcher in Muirhead. There would be nine for dinner tonight. Eight for venison with Scamp preferring he non-meat ‘Rats’. Nine in total because Madeleine had invited an old school friend of hers with her husband to spend the day with them and have dinner. That’s why I was prepping the casserole just before lunch.

After the slow cooker was doing its thing, and lunch had been served to Madeleine and her guests, we minions left for one last long walk. This time we were going all the way along the railway before turning up the hill and heading for high ground where we hoped we’d get a good view. We got to the end of the railway and started to turn up the hill when Sim called a halt. There were bullocks and cows in the field we were in and she didn’t know how Vixen would react to them, so we turned round and went all the way down the hill towards a river ford. About three quarters of the way down we heard a dog barking. Again we stopped while an expeditionary force went to investigate. We couldn’t find any sign of dogs, but there were a couple of houses and everyone down here seemed to have dogs of some description, so we aborted that route and headed back along the railway line then up that bloody hill again.

Madeleine was holding court in the kitchen when we got back and after we’d got cleaned up and changed, we finalised the cooking of the dinner while they chatted noisily in the background. Dinner was well received, as well it should have been. Then we found out that we had a lot in common with the two visitors. He, Peter, had been a college lecturer and head of department. Both he and Alison were ballroom and Latin dancers. We shared tales of Fishtails and Turkish Towels. Overall it was a good night. After that it was time to start the packing and we really got most of it done with just enough time left for a last drink with no TV, then it was time for bed and a long drive for all of us the tomorrow.

Seven went for a walk – 9 June 2019

Seven became five, then five became two and a dog called Vixen.

We started out as seven, but then two dropped out and five soldiered on. After that the rain came on and showed no signs of going off, so another three walked back to the house while JIC and Sim tried to walk some of the energy out of Vixen.

We waited and waited and waited some more, but the rain didn’t want to leave us alone. Finally it dried up and I went out for a walk to take some pictures. That’s where today’s PoD came from. JIC and Jaime went to light the BBQ. I pitched in and eventually we got it going. Three grown men staring at a fire and occasionally throwing some more combustable material in and watching it burn. What’s not to like? Then the rain came back. It didn’t last long but kept going and coming until JIC decided he’d had enough and suggested that we finish off the cooking of the meat in the oven. Everyone agreed agreed.

Dinner was good. Lovely pork with spicy sausages. Scamp, of course, had salmon. Bottle of wine and more chat before we went to watch some crap TV.

I went out to try to get some star shots, and wished I’d brought the Nikon rather than the Olys. The Panasonic lenses don’t have manual focusing rings and that makes life difficult at 11pm, outside with midges and also, I think, bats flying around. Got some shots, but nothing spectacular.

Tomorrow, no real plans. Looks dry in the morning and wet after that.

The day the locksmith came – 15 May 2019

I was up early as you can imagine and even started fiddling around with the lock again, but had breakfast before I phoned for a locksmith. With no idea who was good, who was bad, well there was one obvious bad one. The only review he had on Google was one star and one word “Cowboy”. I avoided him and went for one on Yell. The bloke said he’d be out between 10 and 10.30 in the morning. He was as good as his word and he had the door opened in TEN SECONDS!! I kid you not.  Unfortunately, that was only half the story. The locking mechanism was broken and needed to be replaced. That he did with good speed and good humour. Paid him and he was off to Bellshill to fix a garage door that wouldn’t lock. I’d recommend him again to anyone.

That left us just enough time for lunch and to drive in to Glasgow for some Jive, some Quickstep, a bit of Cha-Cha and to finish off, a wee Waltz. Michael showed us the next part of our Jive routine and we also had a go at New Yorkers in Cha-Cha and a bit of the next stage in Quickstep. He really does fly through the routines.

Home and after dinner Scamp drove us to the STUC for Intermediate Salsa which was fun and Beginners Salsa which was not. Two girls, one slightly the worse for wear and one three sheets to the wind kind of spoiled the class. Yes, salsa is meant to be fun, but not to the extent that you giggle all the way through the class. That’s called Steamin’.

PoD was a hastily shot photo of the first flowering Aquilegia. Must do better. Sketch topic today was A Tree. I chose Chestnut and the result is here. It started out well, but I ran out of time. A common complaint on a Wednesday.

Tomorrow? I don’t have a clue. Today was hot. Temperature according to the car was max 25ºc and I could believe it. Tomorrow is to be cooler and not as sunny.

Beer is the answer, now what was the question? – 30 April 2019

A day in town with the guys and being a good Samaritan.

Scamp offered me a run to the train station to have a 10min trip into Glasgow, rather than the 45min trip the X3 forces on me. I was meeting the Auld Guys for a few beers, some adult conversation and a cheap lunch. Before that I had some time to spare, so I went for a look in JL. Where I saw a bloke attempting to buy a camera for his daughter. She wanted one with a viewfinder, but the one he had his eye on didn’t have one. The assistant told him that nothing in that price range had viewfinders. She went to get the keys to the cabinet to show him some considerably more expensive ones, that’s when the Good Samaritan butted in. I pointed to a Teazer (TZ70) which was much closer to his price range than the £650 Sony the assistant was touting and told them that it had a viewfinder. Even better I had my Teazer in my pocket to show him. He seemed happy that it had a viewfinder and gave it over to his daughter so that she could try it. She said it was just what she was looking for. By then the assistant had returned and the man pointed at the Teazer in the case and said that “This Gentleman” (that’s me by the way) “says that one has a viewfinder”. The assistant agreed that the Lumix was a good make and confirmed that it did indeed have a viewfinder. I left them to test it out for themselves. I hate to see people being given that kind of sales pitch. A Gentleman and a Good Samaritan and it wasn’t even 11.30am!

Met up with the other three in the Horse Shoe Bar. It looked like a pensioners day out today. Not one person under the age of 60 drinking in that bar. Val and Jack couldn’t make it. Jim B couldn’t come today for some undisclosed reason. Had a good gossip about school stuff we don’t have to worry about anymore, then went upstairs for lunch. Three courses for a fiver! That’s a cheap lunch. After that it was home time.

Fred and I got the train home and Scamp very kindly dropped Fred off before we went home too. A good day out.  Scamp had managed to get the grass cut while I was away and just in time too, because when we were going home it started to drizzle.  It’s good for the garden!

Today’s PoD was taken from the top of Buchanan Street in the town.

Tomorrow it’s dancing again. Hopefully better than last week.

A well filled day – 23 April 2019

Driving to Falkirk, and back, lunch out (for some), coffee (for some), broken website – now repaired. Just your usual Tuesday.

Very warm during the night, but the temperature was dropping all morning and, when we got out of the car in Falkirk, I was glad I had worn my fleece. Dropped my ring off in the jeweller’s to have it repaired after having it cut from my finger back in March. We will be reunited on Thursday, hopefully. Went to Morrison’s while we were there to buy muesli, hand wash and milk. That, with a few other things, came to just over £70. That’s the way the money goes.

When we came home, Scamp just had time to change before she went out for lunch with her pal Mags. I had an hour to rearrange the mess in the art room before I too went out. No lunch for me just coffee and setting the world to rights with Fred and Val.

By the time I got home, Scamp was too and there was just enough of the day left to wander over to St Mo’s to get some photos. PoD went to a branch with what looks like Wild Cherry blossom. The competitor for the PoD was this shot of a new memorial seat in St Mo’s park. The name on it is Deone, who I think is Deone MacRae who died of cancer in 2013 aged 15. The family put a memorial bench beside Broadwood Loch, but some people didn’t like it and burned it to ashes. You really wonder about the mentality of some people. The new butterfly seat is cut and welded from 6mm steel. I don’t think that will be quite so easy to burn.

After dinner which was a joint effort at a paella, I noticed all the email from the new server was offline, and so was my site. Try as I might, I couldn’t get it to clear itself. I tried a website checker and it showed the site as open. Asked Hazy to check and she got access. Eventually used the chat facility on the new server’s webpage and after some checking on their side I was told that my IP address had been blocked after too many attempts to log in to an email address using different passwords. Actually it was me who was attempting to log in and get Mac Mail to accept the new password. Good to know they are on the ball, but will have to be more careful in future when changing passwords.

That was my busy day. Tomorrow will be equally busy, I’m sure. Hoping to go dancing in the afternoon and maybe in the evening too. The weather fairies say it’s going to get colder and wetter. Oh what fun. Summer’s over for another year perhaps.

Embra – 20 April 2019

We’d said we’d go to Embra and we did.

Set off early and did our usual walk up from Haymarket station to Nero on Lothian Road then from there through the farmers market where I got a piece of Hogget Leg Steak and Scamp got a chunk of Focaccia. I also grabbed a PoD of the folk sitting in the sun.

From there we walked up to the Grassmarket and Scamp bought a wee bottle of Elderberry liqueur, although the rum liqueur they were selling tasted very nice. They didn’t have wee bottles of it, unfortunately, only big bottles. The place was mobbed. In fact Embra in general was mobbed. It was a beautiful day. Warm sunshine and very little wind which is strange for Embra because it quite often is the Windy City. I was beginning to regret wearing my leather jacket AND a jersey. One had to go, in fact, eventually both had to go.

We couldn’t decide where to go for lunch, so we headed for Princes Street Gardens via M&S where I went to get some fresh fruit while Scamp searched for the trousers she’s been looking for for the last week or so. I got the fruit, but Scamp didn’t find the trousers she wanted. However she did find a sun hat that looked good, so after some swithering about a colour, she opted for the plain white one.

We sat in the gardens for a while eating the fruit and people watching, but decided eventually that it was far too busy in Embra and we should just head for home. Went for the 2pm train and were there in plenty of time. Sat waiting for what seemed a long time when a message came over the tannoy that with apologies, the train was cancelled. There was nothing to do but walk back to the concourse and wait for the next train which was in half an hour. Then Scamp noticed that it too was cancelled. Apparently due to a signalling fault. She suggested we get the 2.15 train which wouldn’t stop at Croy, but we could go straight to Glasgow and get another train back. After all the ticket did say “Valid via any permitted route”, so we could have gone via Inverness if we’d fancied, but we didn’t, we just wanted to get home now. Got the 2.15 which did take us all the way to Glasgow and then got the Stirling train back to Croy. A journey that should have taken us 40mins had taken 2 hours. Strangely, the 2.15 train travelled exactly the same route as the one that was cancelled because of a signalling fault. Did they magically repair the fault for the 2.15 train to pass, but knew that it would be broken again when the 2.30 train was due to leave? Maybe they should just be more honest and say “Due to staff not being available because it was such a nice day”. Anyway, we got home.

Sat in the garden and scoffed a bottle of wine that had been in the fridge since Christmas. It would be getting near it’s sell-by date anyway!

Tomorrow we may go dancing in the Record Factory.